Here’s the Brexit speech Theresa May should have given on Wednesday night

If the prime minister was being truthful, these are the words she would have spoken to the nation in her televised address this week

Gina Miller
Thursday 21 March 2019 19:44
Gina Miller delivers the speech Theresa May should have given

"Nearly three years have passed since the public voted to leave the European Union.

It was the beginning of the biggest political humiliation in our country's history.

I came to office on a promise to deliver on Brexit and have signally failed in that endeavour.

If I had any conscience at all, I would start off by apologising for that, profusely.

But I haven’t and I won’t.

In March 2017, I triggered the Article 50 process for the UK to exit the EU, after one Gina Miller rumbled that I was trying to bypass parliament. But I then forgot to get all sides in the House behind a decisive course of action.

I continued to plough on regardless, alienating people I should have been getting on side, and consequently, more than two years on, MPs are now unable to agree on a way to implement the UK's withdrawal.

As a result, we will now not leave on time with a deal on the 29th of March.

This delay is a matter of great personal regret for me as it makes me look bad.

And of this I am absolutely sure: You, the public, have had enough.

You're tired not so much of the political games, the infighting and the arcane procedural rules that underpin so much of our democracy, but you are tired of Brexit itself - and tired I dare say of me - when you have real concerns about your children's schools, our National Health Service, knife crime, things that matter.

You are increasingly saying you never want to hear the word Brexit again. A petition to revoke Article 50, set up to register the names of all those people who are sick of Brexit, keeps crashing due to more than a million having signed up already.

The Brexit Betrayal march - organised by Nigel Farage, the father of Brexit – turned out to be a Farage Mirage. If people congregate on the streets when Brexit is abandoned, it will be not to riot, but to party.

Theresa May says that delay to Brexit is 'a matter of great personal regret' as she tells public 'I'm on your side'

I am not, however, on your side, and sadly you now appear to know it. In a Sky Data poll, 51% said I am not, as opposed to just 35% who still somehow feel that I am.

I have therefore written to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, to request a short extension of Article 50 up to the 30th of June to give me a bit more time to bully and bribe MPs to have a final say on my agreement.

Of course I have no real plan for making Brexit work in just three months, but the kicking the can down the road strategy has served me well up until now – after all, I’m still here!

Still, we ask ourselves: do we want to leave the EU with a deal which delivers on the result of the referendum, that takes control of our money and borders and laws while protecting jobs and our national security?

Well, sadly, I still haven’t figured out how to do that, but as you know I never give up and I will carry on trying to implement the unimplementable.

The only other options are leaving without a deal – a disaster for everyone except the disaster capitalists – or just accepting that Brexit really wasn't one of our better ideas, that no one explained to us what it would involve, and anyway it was based largely on sorting out an internal fight within the Conservative Party.

It is, of course, largely still about the Conservative Party, but fights have a way of getting out of hand, and it is now also a fight within the Labour Party, which is obviously pleasing for me.

Of course, Brexit was fundamentally undeliverable in the way it was first sold to the people in the referendum campaign by the leave campaigners. We all know that is still true, but none of us dare to say it.

In view of the damage to public trust and the entire democratic process it is high time we made a decision.

So far, parliament has done everything possible to avoid making a choice, not least because they may see how unappetising the choice is. They are pig-headed, stubborn and difficult for being unwilling to compromise. I am, by contrast, strong and stable and unwilling to budge.

Motion after motion and amendment after amendment has been tabled – with MPs willing to say what they do not want, rather than what they do want.

I passionately hope MPs will find a way to somehow spare me further personal political embarrassment – maybe if one of them could come up with an idea of how to make Brexit work, that would be helpful – but otherwise if they could just vote for my disastrous deal anyway that would help me out of this hole.

And I will continue to work night and day to secure the support of my colleagues, the DUP and others for this deal, even though it is of course a waste of your money and everyone’s time.

But I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than the 30th of June.

I know that anyone rational would say that I am making the wrong choice and I should ask for a longer extension, as MPs voted for last week, maybe to the end of the year or beyond to give more time for my fellow MPs to argue over the way forward, or, better still, to just call the whole thing off.

That would mean asking you to vote in European elections nearly three years after our country decided to leave.

What kind of message would that send? That we have taken leave of our senses? Well, that is pretty much taken as read now in most European capitals thanks to my leadership. I have succeeded in turning a strong and stable country into what one European newspaper called a failed state.

Some have suggested holding a second referendum.

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Of course that is what the overwhelming majority of you want – opinion poll after opinion poll has shown that – but that is not what I want and this is fundamentally now about me.

We have asked you the question already and there is no way I want to put it to you again, now that you are in possession of so many more facts now that my Government has finally got around to producing impact studies and reports about what Brexit actually means.

I know many of you would wish me the best of British if I were now to announce – as so many of you thought that I would – that I was moving out of 10 Downing Street, and there would no doubt be a huge sigh of relief if I had announced that Brexit was finally going to be consigned to the ashcan of history, and we could get on with looking after things like the rough sleepers we are practically falling over on our streets

But that is the last thing I am determined to do."

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